What is TMJ? – A Real Pain in the Jaw

Do you worry about the sounds that your jaw makes?

Maybe you have pain or clicking when you open and close your mouth while you eat. Has your jaw ever locked open or closed? Does your jaw get tired eating chewier foods? Do you suffer from headaches, neck aches, or back aches? Do you have unexplained facial pain? Perhaps you clench or grind your teeth.

If any, or all of these sound familiar, you could be suffering from something called TMJ. More specifically/correctly the disorder is known as Temporomandibular Joint Disorder/Dysfunction – TMD.

When Clicking Means Something More

It is not normal for any joint in the human body to click or pop – the jaw joint is no different. Clicking and popping indicate a disharmony, or dis-coordination of the elements that make up the jaw joint.

Telltale symptoms include jaw stiffness, jaw locking, clicking, popping, or grating noises coming from the joints.

Ultimately this can lead to a myriad of other symptoms and problems including pain at the site, or pain radiating down the neck and into the arms or back. Headaches can also result as well as altered hearing (fullness in the ears, ringing in the ears/tinnitus). It can even result in things like numbness and tingling as far away as your fingers.

Pain Free Living is An Option

Dr. Mark Provencher is extremely well trained at dealing with TMD and orofacial pain.

Dr. Provencher is a graduate of numerous programs from the world-renowned Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies positioning him as a leader in the treatment of TMD. While it is true that a number of different things (trauma, stress, degenerative joints, imbalanced bite) can contribute to a TMD – it is also true that 90% of pain in the human body comes from muscles.

Dr. Provencher’s approach is a physiologic one that includes assessment and treatment of the muscles responsible for the alignment and function of the jaws. Ultimately the goal is to establish harmony between the function/balance of the muscles, the movement of the joints, and the fit of the teeth. If one does not have harmony between those three elements – they are at risk of developing and TMD.

What to expect

Dr. Provencher and the Kelowna Dental Solutions team are highly trained to measure and analyze the balance between your muscles, joints, and bite (fit of your teeth). Following analysis of these structures options will be given to you for bringing about resolution to your situation. Through the entire process you will be educated on how your situation has developed and all options for changing it.

For a cursory layman’s overview of TMD and it’s development please watch the YouTube video under the TMD link on this site. It is produced by a friend of Dr. Provencher’s – a dentist in Calgary by the name of Dr. Curtis Westersund.

TMD is a serious condition with far reaching ramifications. If you think you may be suffering from TMD, contact the team at Kelowna Dental Solutions today to arrange a consultation. It is the first step toward your healing.